Many of the works of iconic 60s pop artist Andy Warhol have recently taken up residence at Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery on Oxford Rd.
The American artist’s work is instantly recognisable and has influenced a wealth of contemporary artists all over the globe, even artists here in Manchester such as Harrison Edwards, who currently has his own exhibition ‘Flu Season’ on B.eat Street in Deansgate.
“As I started to develop I was introduced to the likes of Liechtenstein that then lead me to the world of Andy Warhol. I became fascinated with Screen Printing as a way to create art for the masses.
His use of everyday pop culture is a theme that I still incorporate in my work to this day.
“I feel that Warhol was a figurehead of making art accessible to the world. He, in part, broke the stigma of art being for the elite Inspiring a generation of new artists around the world.”
Manchester’s art scene has seen somewhat of a boom in recent years.
Primarily in the new home of counter culture in Manchester, The Northern Quarter.
The Northern Quarter, with its zig-zagging wrought iron fire escapes, and tall industrial looking penned in buildings.
In many ways emulates the gritty Bohemian streets of Manhattan, a part of New York where Warhol spent his most prolific years and hosted debauched parties at the Infamous Factory.
“Over the last 5 years, the northern quarter has really flourished due to an influx in creative input. What is great to see though is how other areas of Manchester have seen this and started to emulate that. Making Manchester a more vibrant and creative place to be in general.”
The Northern Quarter, once the centre of Manchester’s cotton industry, is a hub for emerging local talent, and you only have to cast your eyes to some of its street art, most of which takes clear inspiration from the 60s cult icon.
In March of this year The Northern Quarter played host to the cities of Hope Street art festival, and now it boasts several huge murals, as well as some more moderate pieces.
Also in The Northern Quarter art shop, Fred Aldous commissions artists to paint an old disused brick building in Stevenson’s Square, which is known as ‘Out House Manchester’, and currently boasts a very popular David bowie mural.
It’s not just the walls that boast an impressive amount of local art, though; many of the Northern Quarter’s bars and café strive to showcase emerging talent in the city.
Kosmonaut on Tariff Street is one of those bars; employee Daniel said: “yeah we tend to have a different artist up every few months, the one we have up now is called Andrew Dawson and it’s got a definite pop art feel to it. It’s good because it gives Manchester artists that essential exposure that every artist needs”
Slightly further afield from The Northern Quarter, just on the edge of Chinatown sits generation POP! An art gallery dedicated to pop art, most of which incorporates the stylistic features that Warhol pioneered in the sixties.
Warhol is arguably one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, along with Picasso. His 60s exhibition ‘The Personality of the Artist’ which included his Brillo, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Del Monte Peach Halves, and Mott’s Apple Juice boxes has been said to be one of the most significant in half a century.
It is the only testament to his talent and vision that young artists from across the globe, from Manhattan to Manchester, still find his work relevant and influential today.
The Exhibition at the Whitworth Gallery is running until April next year.